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It’s not the clothes, it’s the mind set: These hard-hitting illustrations fight the greatest myth around rape

Tired of women's clothing being blamed for rape and molestation, a Mumbai-based photography and videography startup designed a hard-hitting photo series to highlight that it's not the victim's clothing that's responsible.

By: Trends Desk | Kolkata |
Updated: January 24, 2017 6:27:42 pm
aie-dress759 Never asked for it!

When in 2012, a 23-year-old female physiotherapy intern was brutally gang raped and tortured on a private bus in Delhi, the spine-chilling incident shocked the country and the world. Subsequently, public protests against the state and central governments for failing to provide adequate security for women took place in Delhi and other parts of India, demand stringent punishment of sexual assault against women. Despite all uproar and outcry, very little has changed since then in reality.

This year itself started on a shocking note — with reports of mass molestation of women in Bengaluru. When concerns about women’s safety and questions about the mentality of the molesters were raised, many put the onus on the victim and not the assaulter. The blame was put on Western influences invading Indian traditions and, of course, the dresses women wear.

aie-dress2 Indian Navy men molested a women at a Mumbai bar and assulted her husband. (Source: AIE Services)

Recently, reacting to the Bengaluru New Year’s eve incident, G Parameshwara, Karnataka’s home minister came out and blamed the victims for dressing in Western clothing. “They try to copy westerners not only in mindset but even the dressing … some girls are harassed, these kinds of things do happen.” Well, certainly he was not the first one to say or think so. Even Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi drew huge flak for his infamous remark on women’s dressing style.

aie-dress3 A girl was molested on a crowded bus, while co-passengers stood by doing nothing. (Source: AIE Services)

Tired of all such obnoxious remarks, a Mumbai-based photography and videography services start-up designed a photo series to highlight that it’s not the victim’s clothing that causes rape or molestation. Men or women, it’s the perpetrators and their mentality that’s responsible.

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aie-dress4 A teenager was raped by a police constable in Mumbai (Source: AIE Services)

In an email to, AIE Services said, “When we read the news about Bangalore mass molestation, we were working on a script of a project depicting how Mumbai is the city of dreams and how they do come true. The news hit hard and we immediately got to thinking ‘is it right on our part to show the fancy/good only? Let us face the ugly once too’.” That’s what triggered these young professionals intrigued to take a stand.

aie-dress5 A two-and-half-year-old child was kidnapped and raped by an accused known to her. (Source: AIE Services)

“We saw that many organisations were working on some brilliant ideas to convey the message that it was not victim’s fault or what they were wearing,” they added. They added that while reading about how people reacted to the whole incident across social media platforms, they “were disgusted to see how in the face of anonymity or social media there are still some people with compassion range of a teaspoon.”

aie-dress6 Four men allegedly molested a 38-year-old woman outside the Mumbai Airport, after her husband had an heated argument with the attackers. (Source: AIE Services)

Finally, the team reworked their initial concept and came up with these hard-hitting pictures, connecting each to a specific sexual assault incident making it clear the victim ‘never asked for it’. “We decided to change the project and do our bit through the art we know, the art we believe in.”

aie-dress8 The infamous 2013 Shakti Mills rape case, were a 22-year-old journalist was gang-raped while she was on an assignment. (Source: AIE Services)

The group has shared their illustrations on their Facebook page highlighting how in India, rape often becomes a ‘spectacle’ and says it takes “lots of courage” to fight and deal with the pain and anguish.

aie-dress9 A 35-year-old women in a lehenga was physically assaulted (Source: AIE Services)


aie-dress10 A 22-year-old woman was molested in the Mumbai local train while the accused got away. (Source: AIE Services)


aie-dress11 A woman was raped in Mumbai while she was out early evening. (Source: AIE Services)


aie-dress7 Not just women: Ranveer Singh confessed to being a victim of casting couch. (Source: AIE Services)

What are your thoughts on these photos, tell us in comments below.

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